Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Got questions? Jamestown Rediscovery archaeologists are ready to answer on #AskanArchaeologist Day

Jamestown Rediscovery is accepting questions ahead of time to answer on Archaeologist Day July 17. (WYDaily/Courtesy of Jamestown Rediscovery Foundation)
Jamestown Rediscovery is accepting questions ahead of time to answer on Archaeologist Day July 17. (WYDaily/Courtesy of Jamestown Rediscovery Foundation)

Those with questions about Jamestown and the ongoing archeological investigations there will find themselves in luck this month.

July 17 is Ask an Archaeologist Day, and the experts at Jamestown Rediscovery are ready to field questions about their jobs and Jamestown.

The Jamestown Rediscovery Foundation has been advertising the day on social media, encouraging people to submit their burning questions to be answered next week.

Archaeologist Mary Anna Hartley said archaeologists answer questions frequently on-site on Jamestown Island, but Ask an Archaeologist Day opens the opportunity up for people to do so virtually.

“This allows us to open the floor to any question anyone has about archaeology,” she said.

Jamestown Rediscovery, part of Preservation Virginia, focuses on research and archaeology that bring stories of the original James Fort to life. It also works to excavate, interpret, preserve, conserve and research artifacts found at the site.

Jamestown Rediscovery will accept questions until July 16, but Hartley said sooner is better because it will allow archaeologists to better prepare. Questions can be submitted informally via Facebook or email

Hartley said the dozen-or-so questions submitted thus far range from topics such as facial recognition technology, to pottery, to the Angela site and more.

How the questions will be answered is still in the works, but archaeologists are leaning toward answering questions through a video online. 

A majority of Jamestown Rediscovery’s dozen archaeologists — which work on the Memorial Church, Angela and Fort sites — will participate in the question-and-answer session.

Hartley said Ask an Archaeologist Day was started in recent years by the Council for British Archaeology, which hosts a “huge” festival that runs through the second half of July. 

Ask an Archaeologist Day is a part of their festivities, Hartley said.

Other archaeological sites are also participating in Ask an Archaeologist Day, including some in Italy.

Those who have other questions about curation will have another opportunity to ask this September on Ask a Curator Day.

Jamestown staff will also be participating in that event, Hartley said.

Sarah Fearing
Sarah Fearing is the Assistant Editor at WYDaily. Sarah was born in the state of Maine, grew up along the coast, and attended college at the University of Maine at Orono. Sarah left Maine in October 2015 when she was offered a job at a newspaper in West Point, Va. Courts, crime, public safety and civil rights are among Sarah’s favorite topics to cover. She currently covers those topics in Williamsburg, James City County and York County. Sarah has been recognized by other news organizations, state agencies and civic groups for her coverage of a failing fire-rescue system, an aging agriculture industry and lack of oversight in horse rescue groups. In her free time, Sarah enjoys lazing around with her two cats, Salazar and Ruth, drinking copious amounts of coffee and driving places in her white truck.

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